The Dream School: A Checklist for Success


Mark is a school governor and also works at Ashridge Business School. He has recently worked with young people talking about their “dream school” and what their school and education should be like. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? Tell us your views!

There are over one million 18-24 year olds in the UK are NEETS – that is not in employment, education or training. This suggests that our schools may not be preparing pupils for a productive working life. Is our education system now fit for purpose?

The winner takes it all...

As the nation took part in the Diamond Jubilee festivities this weekend, many students around the country were also celebrating the end of a gruelling series of internal or external GCSE and A-Level examinations. Yet in the midst of the celebrations, the family, friends and relatives of Emily Weiss were commemorating the first anniversary of her tragic death. Emily, a bright 14-year-old at South Hampstead High School, took her own life, and it is believed that this was a result of exam pressure.

Let's talk about sex (education)

Sex education: The facts

Teen pregnancy in the UK:

  • Rates of teenage births are five times those in the Netherlands, double those in France and more than twice those in Germany.
  • Rates of teenage births are five times those in the Netherlands, double those in France and more than twice those in Germany

Teens and STIs in the UK:

  • There are about 170-200 diagnoses of gonorrhoea in England amongst under-16s each year.

Are academies able to exclude poorer students?

The continuing debate about the fairness of academy schools intensified recently when the Office of the School Adjudicator (OSA) ruled against the Charter School in Dulwich, South London. The adjudicator said that the school had deliberately made subtle changes in its catchment area policy in order to exclude children from two nearby council estates. The school had not taken into account path that students from the council estate would use to get to the school.

BBC Politics Show and Co-Operative Schools

Guest blog: Katie, Steering Group Member and Young Adviser (currently in the office on Work Experience!)

Many of you will have already heard about schools turning into academies. This has been taking place over the last few years very rapidly and is taking place through a governmental scheme that offers large incentives to schools if they make the change into an academy. However, there is a lot of controversy surrounding this topic as some people argue that academies offer more personal learning whilst some remain against the idea. They now make up as many as 45% of all maintained schools, which are either open or in the pipeline to convert into an academy. This means over one million pupils now, or will soon, attend academies. Exam results have shown that schools that have became academies have seen a large improvement in their exam results.

Teacher Strikes and School Closures

It’s YOUR education, what do YOU think? Read our For and Against, and add your own thoughts below…

Teachers and college lecturers are angry at reforms which change the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. The government has proposed that they pay more into their pensions and work longer.


The right to strike is a democratic necessity – as students, we know how important it is to have the power to take direct action to get our voices heard, especially at times when no one seems to be listening. Sometimes, direct action is the only way left to defend your cause, as students showed when they protested about the cuts earlier this month. Whilst people are calling the unions selfish, saying they’re just itching for a fight, this is exactly what unions are for – protecting the workforce. They’re just doing their job, and are operating in difficult circumstances.

Let’s also remember that by cutting teachers pensions, we’re also cutting the quality of our education. The best teachers will no longer be attracted to employment in the public sector, and will instead work for private schools where pay and pensions are better.

We Are StudentVoice

It’s your education. What matters to you? What makes you angry? What needs changing?

For too long, decision makers have failed to ask school and college students these questions.

Between politicians ignoring us and the media demonising us, young people never seem to be heard – not even in the things that matter to us most. EMA was cut without even an attempt to ask young people what they thought. Tuition fees were trebled, and we weren’t consulted. It’s time to speak up and get our voices heard.

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